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Feb
18
Mon
2019
9:30 am Monkey Mayhem @ The Beacon
Monkey Mayhem @ The Beacon
Feb 18 @ 9:30 am – 11:30 am
Monkey Mayhem @ The Beacon | England | United Kingdom
Pre-school stay and play session with bouncy castle and ball pit. Buy tickets on the door – no booking required.   Dates Every Monday & Friday (except Bank Holidays). Price £3.70 per child or £5.70[...]
10:00 am Book and DVD Sale @ Burghfield L... @ Burghfield Library
Book and DVD Sale @ Burghfield L... @ Burghfield Library
Feb 18 @ 10:00 am – Feb 23 @ 4:00 pm
Book and DVD Sale @ Burghfield Library @ Burghfield Library
Book and DVD sale  Monday 18 – Saturday 23 February at Burghfield Library, nothing more than £1. For more information, please contact the library. Twitter: https://twitter.com/WBerksLibraries Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/newburylibrary/ http://info.westberks.gov.uk/35189
10:00 am Indoor Bounce & Inflatables for ... @ Swindon MECA
Indoor Bounce & Inflatables for ... @ Swindon MECA
Feb 18 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Indoor Bounce & Inflatables for Halfterm @ Swindon MECA | England | United Kingdom
Monday 18th – Friday 22nd February 2019 10am – 4pm (Daily) UNLIMITED PLAY Bouncy Castles (up to 10yrs) Inflatable Obstacle Course (up to 10yrs) Toddler Soft Play (0-4yrs) 0-6 Months – Free Under 4’s –[...]
10:00 am Monday Rhymetime @ Thatcham Library @ Thatcham Library
Monday Rhymetime @ Thatcham Library @ Thatcham Library
Feb 18 @ 10:00 am – 10:30 am
Monday Rhymetime @ Thatcham Library @ Thatcham Library | England | United Kingdom
Monday Rhymetime at Thatcham Library Rhymetime for under 3’s at Thatcham Library. Every Monday in term time, 10.00-10.20am. For more information, please contact the library. Twitter: https://twitter.com/WBerksLibraries Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/newburylibrary/ http://info.westberks.gov.uk/article/30286
10:00 am Music Mondays, Wantage @ Vale & Downland Museum
Music Mondays, Wantage @ Vale & Downland Museum
Feb 18 @ 10:00 am – 10:30 am
Music Mondays, Wantage @ Vale & Downland Museum | England | United Kingdom
For under 5s – come and join Music Mondays.  Join in with traditional songs and rhymes accompanied by live music. Children must be accompanied by an adult.  Spaces are limited so please book in advance[...]
1:30 pm Duplo Play Sessions @ Theale Lib... @ Theale Library
Duplo Play Sessions @ Theale Lib... @ Theale Library
Feb 18 @ 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Duplo Play Sessions @ Theale Library @ Theale Library | Theale | England | United Kingdom
Duplo Play Sessions For toddlers and preschoolers: Mondays, 1.30-3.00pm all year round Wednesdays. 10.45am-12.15pm half-term and holidays An informal session to have fun with Duplo. Younger siblings welcome – we have a few baby toys to[...]
1:45 pm Let’s Talk About the Old Days @ ... @ Theale Library
Let’s Talk About the Old Days @ ... @ Theale Library
Feb 18 @ 1:45 pm – 3:15 pm
Let's Talk About the Old Days @ Theale Library @ Theale Library | Theale | England | United Kingdom
Let’s Talk About the Old Days Regular events for older people – Carers welcome. 3rd Monday each month, starts 19th November. Please call or email ahead if you wish to attend – For more information,[...]
2:00 pm Coffee & Craft @ Pangbourne Library @ Pangbourne Library
Coffee & Craft @ Pangbourne Library @ Pangbourne Library
Feb 18 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Coffee & Craft @ Pangbourne Library @ Pangbourne Library | Pangbourne | England | United Kingdom
Coffee and Craft Every Monday in term time, 2.00-4.00pm at Pangbourne Library. Drop in and bring any craft with you. For more information, please contact the library. http://info.westberks.gov.uk/article/30285 Twitter: https://twitter.com/WBerksLibraries Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/newburylibrary/
2:15 pm Family History Sessions @ Theale... @ Theale Library
Family History Sessions @ Theale... @ Theale Library
Feb 18 @ 2:15 pm – 4:45 pm
Family History Sessions @ Theale Library @ Theale Library | Theale | England | United Kingdom
Family History Sessions Every Monday, 2.20pm-4.45pm at Theale Library. Learn to use Ancestry.com for your personal research. No need to book, just drop in. For more information, please contact the library. http://info.westberks.gov.uk/article/30287 Twitter: https://twitter.com/WBerksLibraries Facebook:[...]
4:00 pm VICI Kitchen! Pancakes and Frenc... @ Vici Academy
VICI Kitchen! Pancakes and Frenc... @ Vici Academy
Feb 18 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
VICI Kitchen! Pancakes and French - Children Workshop! @ Vici Academy | England | United Kingdom
Learn to make French Crêpes (so practise new vocabulary), then we bake (to learn lots of action verbs), then we cook (just like French Chefs!) and of course, WE EAT (and play French shop!). The fun of the kitchen is also[...]

A Quick Guide to Buying Headphones

Headphones are in some ways the speaker world’s equivalent of motorcycles; smaller, cheaper, and more efficient than a motor car but not suited to all uses. And like motorcycles, there are a variety of different types of headphones. This is not a review of any particular headphone set, just a general introduction for anyone wondering which headphone is best for their needs.

There are several basic types of headphones. These differ primarily in how much isolation they provide (how much they block out external sound), their efficiency, and their size and shape.

‘Open’ headphones

Although they come in a huge variety of shapes, ‘open’ headphones are all fairly similar from an acoustic standpoint. They are called ‘open’ because they do not create a sealed (‘closed’) chamber around the ear and the rear of the driver (speaker) is not sealed from the outer environment. In essence, all open headphones just suspend a small speaker next to your ear. They may take different approaches to that task, and they may use speakers of differing quality, but the basic task is always the same. This make it easier for the manufacturer to achieve a detailed and airy mid-range clarity because the speaker container is not a sealed enclosure, but this will often be at the expense of deep bass response. They will make some audible noise for for the person sitting next to the wearer, something to be aware of if you intend to use them on public transport, for instance.

Open headphones can also be called ‘supra-aural’ headphones if you are feeling pretentious, because they sit on top of the user’s ear. There are several major categories of these:

Ear-pad headphones
;
Ear buds
;
Ear-clip headphones (there’s no common term for this type) which are often used with mobile phones
;
Street-style headphones with a wraparound band (these are usually wireless).

‘Closed’ headphones

A relative rarity these days, ‘closed’ headphones create a sealed chamber around each ear, hence the term ‘circumaural’. Air cannot (easily) escape from this chamber and so vibration is transferred better from the speaker to your ear drum while external sounds are damped out. Closed headphones therefore tend to provide better isolation, higher efficiency, and significantly better bass reproduction. The headphone manufacturer is better able to tune the enclosures to achieve specifically desired results. Some headphones are renowned for their huge bass response.

Nothing in life is free, of course; closed headphones have to be larger (so they can wrap all the way around your ear, not just sit on top of it) and they tend to squeeze the wearer’s head slightly to help maintain their seal. But since they press against the head, not the ears, and are usually well-padded, this may not be such a problem. It’s also significantly harder to design them competently, which means decent ones tend to be pricey.

These days, any headphones described as ‘full-sized’ or ‘circumaural’ (in other words, ‘big’) are likely to be closed because it’s otherwise hard to justify having headphones that are so large. But neither of those terms necessarily means that the ‘phones are actually closed; larger headphones can still be open, or ‘semi-open’/’semi-closed’ (close to sealed, but not quite). Electrostatic headphones are huge but are also open backed. They are also incredibly expensive.

If you’re likely to be using headphones when out closed headphones will be almost inaudible to the person sitting next to you on the train (unless you use it at stupidly high volumes, which isn’t a good idea for a number of reasons). This works both ways, though. You will also be able to hear a lot less of what’s going on around you: ideal for the journey in a noisy carriage but less wise when you’re crossing a road and can’t hear the blast of a car horn.

In-ear headphones

If you’re comfortable with the idea of sticking a foam-padded piece of plastic into your ear canal, in-ear headphones may be for you. They are the smallest and most portable sort of headphones, and offer the highest isolation (not unlike jamming your fingers in your ears). They essentially take the basic concept of sealed heaphones even further than circumaural designs and create a tiny sealed chamber inside your ear. This leads to very high efficiency (and again, exceptionally high isolation) and makes life easier for the people designing the things. This has the happy result that good quality in-ear headphones are typically cheaper than other types of ‘phones of similar quality. There is one proviso here: Bluetooth or wireless earbuds are more expensive due to the amount of micro-circuitry that needs to be crammed into such small devices.

There are downsides to the earbud solution. Tiny transducers (‘speakers’ hardly seems appropriate for something that almost directly vibrates your skull) are not able to reproduce bass very well. Many people find these headphones uncomfortable, especially when worn for extended periods. Some manufacturers provide several different foam pads to deal with this problem, but that is still only a partial solution. And if you tend to share headphones with friends, well, something you insert into your ear may not be the most hygienic option.

These headphones are also sometimes called earphones (in particular, the manufacturer Shure uses this term), canal phones, and in-canal earphones.

Making your choice

As with so many purchases, one is these days faced with a bewildering choice. The product types (which we’ve touched on here) are sometimes used in different ways by different manufacturers while technical specifications (which I’ll look at in a later article) come in a bewildering array of figures and abbreviations.

Also as with so many purchases, quality and price do tend to bear a close relationship to each other. As I mentioned above, however, some designs are inherently more expensive and this style may not be what you’re looking for. There’s also the question of how long you’re likely to spend each day using them, how much you want to compromise between sound quality, comfort and portability and – of course – how much you’re willing to spend. Uncomfortable or poor-quality headphones can be a nightmare so the cheapest isn’t usually a good idea. However, for your particular purpose, the most expensive may not be ideal either.

If you want to have a chat about this or any other aspect of sound reproduction, on whatever scale, please get in touch.

E: sales@crushco.net
T: 01488 71646
M: 07811 472 517
W: www.crushco.net.

 

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